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Brief Published: 7 Feb 2018

Hybrid Destinations: Modern Mall Concept Area15, Las Vegas

AREA15, Las Vegas

A new Las Vegas retail and entertainment complex scheduled to open by late 2019 puts the emphasis on the mall as an immersive, experiential destination.

New York-based American real estate firm Fisher Brothers and creative agency Beneville Studios are partnering on the new complex, to be called Area15.

The 126,000 sq ft development will offer a curated retail and entertainment experience, including a 10,000 sq ft food hall and 68,000 sq ft of floor space for retail and experiential tenants. One anchor tenant is Santa Fe-based multimedia production company Meow Wolf. The innovative group is known for creating interactive experiences that take a ‘fantastical’ approach to storytelling and exploration through sculpture, augmented and virtual reality (VR), sound and performative experiences.

Meanwhile, a sizeable chunk of space (40,000 sq ft) will be dedicated to an indoor and outdoor events area for hosting over 100 gatherings per year. This will include live music performances, corporate events, VR experiences, e-sport tournaments (see also Microsoft’s Debut Flagship NY) and interactive art, catering to consumer appetite for blurred physical/digital offerings (see Digitally Immersive Malls).

Connecting the retail and event spaces will be the ‘Spine’ – a 30,000 sq ft canvas for 3D art installations.

Intended to attract locals and tourists, the hybrid destination could prove the perfect hang-out for Gen Z, who seek new retail landscapes to encourage their spending – the majority of US teens currently only visit malls once a month (HRC Advisory, 2016). See Destination Teen for more.

With immersive experiences gaining in clout, mall concepts grounded in ‘un-consumption’ or low transactions will underscore brand success. See also Modernising the Mall.